Author Topic: Jersey: 2 pounds Ernest Shackleton 2021  (Read 264 times)

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Jersey: 2 pounds Ernest Shackleton 2021
« on: January 20, 2021, 10:42:43 AM »
In September of this year the government of Jersey is planning to release a series of 3 commemorative 2 pound coins to commemorate the 100th anniversary of Ernest Shackleton's final expedition. The coins will each celebrate a different polar exhibition Shackleton was part of. They will commemorate respectively the Nimrod Expedition, Trans-Antarctic expedition aboard the HMS Endurance and the Shackleton-Rowett expedition.

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Re: Jersey: 2 pounds Ernest Shackleton 2021
« Reply #1 on: January 20, 2021, 11:00:59 AM »
Shackleton's story with emphasis on the Trans-Antarctic Expedition:

Sir Ernest Henry Shackleton led three British expeditions to the Antarctic following his first Antarctic experience as third officer on Robert Falcon Scott's Discovery expedition of 1901-04, from which he was sent home early on health grounds.

During his Nimrod expedition of 1907-09, he and three companions reached latitude 88°S, only 97 nautical miles from the South Pole, the then largest advance to the pole in exploration history.

After the race to the South Pole ended in Dec 1911, with Roald Amundsen's conquest, Shackleton turned his attention to the crossing of Antarctica from sea to sea, via the pole. To this end, he made preparations for what became the Imperial Trans-Antarctic Expedition, 1914–17. Disaster struck this expedition when its ship, the three-masted barquentine SY Endurance, became trapped in pack ice and was slowly crushed in Oct 1915. After dragging three boats and provisions from the ship, Shackleton and his 27 companions drifted northward on a floe for 6 months. As the ice started to break up, Shackleton ordered to boats to set sail for the uninhabited Elephant Island. Shackleton, along with five companions, decided to sail one of the lifeboats to South Georgia, not the closest human settlement but the only one not requiring sailing into the prevailing westerlies. Of the three lifeboats, the James Caird was deemed the strongest and most likely to survive the journey. Shackleton had named it after Sir James Key Caird, a Dundee philanthropist whose sponsorship had helped finance the expedition. Before its voyage, the ship's carpenter, Harry McNish, strengthened and adapted the boat to withstand the seas of the Southern Ocean, sealing his makeshift wood and canvas deck with lamp wick, oil paint and seal blood. Surviving a series of dangers, including a near capsizing, the boat reached the uninhabited south side of the island after a voyage that lasted 16 days over 720 nautical miles - one of the greatest small-boat journeys ever completed. Shackleton and two companions then set off on a 36-hour non-stop trek across glaciers and mountains to reach a whaling station on the northern side. Here he organised the relief of the three men left on the south side of the island and of the Elephant Island party, and the return of his men home without loss of life.

In 1921, he returned to the Antarctic with the Shackleton-Rowett Expedition, but died of a heart attack while his ship, Quest, was moored in South Georgia. At his wife's request, he was buried there.

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Re: Jersey: 2 pounds Ernest Shackleton 2021
« Reply #2 on: January 20, 2021, 11:01:50 AM »
The Endurance became available for Shackleton's Imperial Trans-Antarctic expedition when the tour scheme she had been built for collapsed. Launched on 17 Dec 1912 and initially named Polaris, her original purpose was to provide luxurious accommodation for small tourist and hunting parties in the Arctic as an ice-capable steam yacht.

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Re: Jersey: 2 pounds Ernest Shackleton 2021
« Reply #3 on: January 20, 2021, 11:02:32 AM »
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Re: Jersey: 2 pounds Ernest Shackleton 2021
« Reply #4 on: January 20, 2021, 12:54:24 PM »
I suspect that there will be a complementary collector issue from the British Antarctic Territory next year on the centenary of his death.

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Re: Jersey: 2 pounds Ernest Shackleton 2021
« Reply #5 on: January 20, 2021, 03:47:26 PM »
Interesting trivia:

The Nimrod expedition was the first to take a recently invented motor-car to Antarctica, it kept breaking down through over-heating and getting stuck in even shallow snow. Wasn't a success.

It was a 4 cylinder, 15 horsepower air cooled car manufactured by Arrol-Johnston company of Paisley, Scotland.

The picture shows mechanic Bernard Day with the car on the sea ice after being unloaded from the Nimrod.
« Last Edit: January 20, 2021, 06:07:03 PM by Deeman »

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Re: Jersey: 2 pounds Ernest Shackleton 2021
« Reply #6 on: January 20, 2021, 06:03:02 PM »

Sir Ernest Henry Shackleton was one of the principal figures of the period known as the Heroic Age of Antarctic Exploration.
"Those at the top of the mountain didn't fall there."- Marcus Washling.

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Re: Jersey: 2 pounds Ernest Shackleton 2021
« Reply #7 on: January 20, 2021, 06:39:11 PM »
Story of the British Imperial Antarctic Expedition 1907-1909 commonly referred to as the Nimrod Expedition:

Nimrod was an 1865 Dundee-built sealer working with the Newfoundland fleet until purchased for the Antarctic expedition. She was refitted which, amongst other things, involved changing the sailing rig from schooner to barquentine.
The expedition set sail for New Zealand on 7 Aug 1907 for final stores. Nimrod was so overloaded with supplies for the expedition that it could not carry enough coal that would be needed in the pack ice. The supplies included 12 Manchurian ponies, and a large crate amidships, secured by chains, housing a much-modified Arrol-Johnston motor car fitted with an air-cooled engine and Simms-Bosch magneto ignition. In the converted aft hold, bunks for the 15-strong shore party were piled with luggage, and a jumble of scientific instruments and personal belongings all but blocked the passageway. So, Shackleton arranged for the ship to be towed from NZ to the edge of the pack ice by the tramp steamer Koonya, courtesy of the NZ government and the Union Steam Ship Company. Once clear of the Lyttelton harbour, the overloaded Nimrod picked up a tow cable from the Koonya and began its laborious 1,650-mile journey south on 1 Jan 1908.
They reached the pack ice on 15 Jan. Shackleton could not locate his intended landing place because a large part of the ice shelf had broken out to sea so changing the topography of previous geographical features. (The coast of Antarctica is a map-makers nightmare, by the time any map has been published, the coast will no longer be as it was due to ice breaking out and changing the shape.) Nimrod eventually berthed at McMurdo Sound, anchoring to the sea ice edge some 16 miles from land at Hut Point where there was a hut remaining from Scott's Discovery expedition in 1902. Unloading began on 3 Feb, hampered by ice and wind conditions, causing the Nimrod periodically put back out into the bay to prevent the danger of being iced in or damaged by pack. The Nimrod headed back to NZ on 22 Feb leaving Shackleton’s shore party to their mission, the main target, among a range of geographical and scientific objectives, to be first to reach the geographic South Pole.
Shackleton made some poor decisions. He ignored the advice not to repeat Scott’s error of not using the dogs effectively and decided to use Manchurian ponies which he thought were ‘hardy, sure-footed and plucky’. Within a month of landing on the ice, however, five were dead. This caused extra work for his men as ponies sweat when they stop, and the sweat freezes so they then had to be rubbed down. It also meant that food for the ponies had to be carried on the Nimrod contributing to it being overloaded. To compound this problem, Shackleton chose not to take a skilled horseman with him. Shackleton also ignored the advice to use animal fur for clothing and sleeping bags, opting instead for the Burberry windproof clothing used by Scott with detached hoods. This decision resulted in discomfort for the men, making them more prone to frostbite on the face. He also ignored advice to take skis.
Scientific reading and observations began immediately, particularly meteorological and biological of the seas through cracks in the ice. A party of six succeeded in the first ascent of the 13,200 ft nearby volcano Mount Erebus.
Come the spring the plans for sledging parties made over the winter started to be put into action. A southern party led by Shackleton with three others headed for the Pole on 29 Oct 1908. A northern party, led by Edgeworth David, set out to reach the south magnetic pole on 25 Sep 1908.
On 26 Nov the Shackleton party passed the previous furthest south point reached by Robert Scott (a trip that Shackleton was also on) in 1902. They were eventually defeated by the weather and a lack of supplies and suitable equipment just 97 miles from the South Pole on 9 Jan 1909. A flag was planted and photographs taken and set off on the journey back, a round trip of 1,613 miles. They had lived on rations calculated to last 91 days for 126 days.
The Edgeworth David party did not have the help of dogs or ponies; they did however have the motor car taken on the expedition and used it to establish depots from the winter base. Ironically the car suffered from overheating of the engine and the men had to wait in the cold for it to cool down again before it could run and traction in snow was very poor. The journey had to be completed by manhauling the sledge. On 16 Jan 1909 they reached the south magnetic pole, photographs were taken and the Union Flag hoisted. They then headed back to base, a round trip of 1,260 miles.
By the time Nimrod collected all the men of the shore party on 4 Mar 1909 many ‘firsts’ had been achieved.
« Last Edit: January 22, 2021, 08:55:55 PM by Deeman »

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Re: Jersey: 2 pounds Ernest Shackleton 2021
« Reply #8 on: January 21, 2021, 11:45:36 AM »
Shackleton - Rowett Expedition 1921 – 1922

Quest was small, poorly fitted and reckoned exceedingly uncomfortable by those who sailed in her. She rolled significantly and moved with the sea making cooking and eating in particular difficult at times. Even the hardened sailors suffered from some degree of seasickness. She had a 125hp steam engine and a reinforced bow sheathed in steel.
Largely as a result of difficulties with the engine a month was spent in Rio de Janeiro. On 17 Dec 1921 in Rio, Shackleton "felt a slight faintness". Quest set sail for South Georgia. The journey was difficult through almost constant bad weather that threw the ship about. They arrived at Grytviken whaling station on 4 Jan 1922. Shackleton died the day after; an autopsy found the cause of death to be coronary heart disease. Shackleton's body was taken ashore and laid in the whaler’s church. Meanwhile, the Quest left for the Weddell Sea on the 18 Jan.
It was planned to send the body back to England assuming that this would be his wife's wishes. A message was subsequently received from Lady Shackleton saying that she felt that it was more fitting that her husband was buried on South Georgia. He was buried on the 5 Mar 1922 at Grytviken at a ceremony attended by a hundred whalers and seamen.